Metatalktail Hour: Dear me ... January 28, 2023 3:22 AM   Subscribe

Hello, friends, and happy weekend! Today turned out to be kind of nippy and / or rainy. In a rush to leave the house, you accidentally grabbed an old coat or jacket ... one you haven't worn for at least five years, maybe longer. Putting your hand in the pocket you find a scrap of paper with a note — a note to yourself that you wrote, but no longer remember writing. What does the note say?

Or, keep the note to yourself, and just let us know what's going on with you now, what's on your mind, what you did this week ... just no politics, please!
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:22 AM (50 comments total)

Dear Kinsey,

Oh man, it gets so much better. Stick with the therapy and the sobriety and I promise there are some amazing, unimaginable things in store for you. I know you worry so much about staying sober when Kinsey (the cat) dies, but you can and do! Oh, and buy some Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer, never know when you might need em, haha!

PS I am writing this from your house on a lake. I know, right!?!? It's just as amazing as you thought it would be!
posted by kinsey at 4:37 AM on January 28, 2023 [8 favorites]

I actually SORT of have had this happen in real life! About a year ago now, I got an email from the Rancho Gordo heirloom bean company, telling me that "congratulations! There is enough space in our bean club to move you off the waiting list now if you still want to join!" Which was confusing - because I did NOT remember signing up for the waiting list in the first place. But after looking into the pricing and the details a bit, I shrugged and said "okay, go for it."

Smash cut to today, where I have been feeding myself for a solid 2 weeks out of the current bean stash, bolstered only by scant grocery trips for three or four things (a bag of frozen corn, some chard, and a tomato was my TOTAL grocery list last week, and this week I only need a small bottle of ketchup and some hot dogs to go with the Boston Baked Beans from scratch); and I got to enjoy everything from pasta fagioli to a wonderful veggie stew to a chowder with sweet potato and beans and some funky chilis, and I still have enough to make black bean soup and lentil soup and a white bean and tuna salad for lunches, and maybe next week I can pick up a duck leg and make a quick ad hoc cassoulet. And the next box is due in just under a month.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:42 AM on January 28, 2023 [12 favorites]

5–6 years ago my wife had cancer, so that note probably would have been a shopping list or a list of things I needed to pick up for her. I'd like to say it was some sort of self-affirmation about how life would get better, but I'm not the write self-affirmations to myself type.

Life did get better. She beat the cancer and in a lot of ways the last 5 years have been the best 5 years of our lives. Or maybe we just learned to appreciate our days more.

Anyway, today sucks. I woke up this morning to a dead electric kettle, and had to microwave my tea water like some sort of Neanderthal.
posted by COD at 5:59 AM on January 28, 2023 [17 favorites]

microwave my tea water like some sort of Neanderthal.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:30 AM on January 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

“2020 is going to be my next big year for travel! Nothing is getting in my way.”
posted by thivaia at 6:31 AM on January 28, 2023 [5 favorites]

Probably directions the safe house, along with the wifi password and doorcode.

So yeah, my career as a spy quickly ended.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:46 AM on January 28, 2023 [7 favorites]

Five years ago would be January 2018, right? Wow. Any note from me then would have been so completely clueless as to what was about what was actually going on in my life, how it was about to unfold, and what amazing changes the next five years would bring. That's assuming that I would actually find a note in there. In actuality it would be a poop bag, or a dog treat, or possibly a dirty tennis ball.
posted by HotToddy at 8:28 AM on January 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

My desk at home is a very personalized filing system of piles, Important Stuff to File, post-its to myself: U-block origens?, shopping lists, names of people I meet at tasting events because I'm bad with names, cards from MeFi Card Swap!, more Stuff To File, and...a small piece of paper with the words, "The rain at 5am". It surfaces every now and then in the shuffle, I just went through all the piles and can't find it. I view this as some sort of lesson to NOT go through the piles today, and make biscotti instead.
posted by winesong at 8:47 AM on January 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

True story:


Who uses nickels anymore? Why would I need multiples of them?? Past me ain't talkin'.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:08 AM on January 28, 2023 [6 favorites]

In fact I currently do not possess a stash of nickels, so did I use them up at some murky distant point in the past? Or (more possible, considering the note had clearly been forgotten and abandoned) did I never actually get them and therefore never needed them after all? But then why would I go to the trouble of writing the note in the first place? The mystery deepens...
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:14 AM on January 28, 2023

I picked up a scarf I hadn't worn in five years. My working theory is that dust mites had been in there more recently. Nasty allergic reaction right around my throat, still not completely gone 7 weeks later.

On the plus side, after 18 years and 4 weeks of living by a harbour where I regularly hear there are dolphins ( my SO has had them on the bow wave of her rowing boat multiple times) I finally saw some today, albeit with binocs.
posted by biffa at 9:29 AM on January 28, 2023 [5 favorites]

How do they hold the binocs?
posted by taz (staff) at 9:35 AM on January 28, 2023 [19 favorites]

eye soc
posted by supermedusa at 10:02 AM on January 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

Get quarters for the pay phone.

(this was a very old note)
posted by From Bklyn at 11:17 AM on January 28, 2023

OTOH, "Get quarters for laundry" is still quite common.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:54 AM on January 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

microwave my tea water like some sort of Neanderthal.

I'm really distractible. Years ago I remembered suddenly that I had put on a kettle for tea and rushed to the kitchen, where I found the kettle's metal glowing orange from heat, the faux-bronze coating flaked off in a circle around the burner. My roommate arrived on scene, said "My first boyfriend gave me that," then switched gears to figuring out how to get the kettle off the heat and disposed of without anyone getting hurt.

I bought a new tea kettle after that (this one had a whistle), but wandered off and discovered that the whistle was a near-perfect match to the main pitch on my tinnitus.

I've been living like a Neanderthal ever since. I love tea, but not as much as I love not burning the house down.
posted by johnofjack at 1:28 PM on January 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

I cured olives this last mid-November through last week. The dry salt cured were a little rough, but the water, then brine cured, with, meyer lemon, rice wine vinegar, garlic and fresh rosemary, they are good. I gave three quarts to the house the olives came from, and kept a quart. Curing olives is not so simple, but it is rewarding. It is spring here, the clothes dry crisply on the line, now.
posted by Oyéah at 2:18 PM on January 28, 2023 [6 favorites]

johnofack, I highly recommend an electric kettle for quick heating and peace of mind! Even lots of the inexpensive ones have an auto-off feature to prevent them from boiling dry.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:23 PM on January 28, 2023 [5 favorites]

taz, you mind reader! all my coats have this note on a post-it in their pocket, usually crumpled, maybe more than one, and finding OLD ones is *so* confusing. I'm typing up the one I found stuffed in the back of the bathroom closet today fwiw

salad dressing
frozen veg
fresh veg
posted by infini at 3:01 PM on January 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

pita bread
Gorilla Glue (1/8th)
Rig-a--ma-roll (1 pk.)
ketscup (sic sp)
coke (cola)
a pack of dogs (Nathan's)
cocktail napkins
AOL disc
posted by clavdivs at 3:22 PM on January 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Ah yes, the pack of dogs / catnip /mittens / gorilla glue incident. Have the neighbors forgiven yet?
posted by taz (staff) at 3:31 PM on January 28, 2023 [4 favorites]

That's why I got the Rig-a--ma-roll.
posted by clavdivs at 3:50 PM on January 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

Historically there was no need to seek out AOL disks, usually we were trying to get rid of them.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:10 PM on January 28, 2023

So my mom passed in October…
I’m finding lists my mom made of books I need to get for her from the library.

Dang, that woman loved to read!!

(I’m also finding where she hid my kitchen utensils that she either didn’t like or accidentally destroyed…) but maybe that’s another Metatalktail…
posted by calgirl at 5:39 PM on January 28, 2023 [9 favorites]

That's why I got the Rig-a--ma-roll.

What, what is a Rig-a-ma-roll? This seems to be ungoogleable, I just get definitions for "rigamarole" and stuff about snare drums.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:35 PM on January 28, 2023

Even though I utterly love and appreciate these MetaTalkTail Hour threads and thoroughly support the "no politics, please!" aspect of them, the little stubborn anti-authoritarian part of me always desperately wants to respond by posting something about politics.

Which reminds me of two of my favorite comic strips:

Non Sequitur, The Essence of Human Nature
Cul De Sac, There's nothing to draw

Actual note from my notes five years ago:
So... need to focus on smaller amounts of things to do, do some decluttering, be pleased with what I DO get done, frame my choices as what I can do and am choosing to do in the moment.
All of that totally still works as advice to myself today.

I love these threads. Thank you all for being here!
posted by kristi at 6:48 PM on January 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

My coat pockets always turn up shopping lists with catfood noted ... always catfood. When we went through my mother's coats after she died there were tissues stuffed in every pocket. With my father it was actual cotton handkerchiefs. I have no idea why both my parents had such an obsession with products to use to blow your nose.

Coincidentally, I just yesterday found a sweet love note written by my husband on a tiny piece of paper that dates to at least 2015, or probably earlier, because it mentions getting food from a Wendy's that closed in 2015. It must be from around June, because it mentions our marriage. I have no idea where it drifted from - I found it on the floor - but it is seriously crumpled and a bit torn and I suspect it fell out of a bag or pocket recently where it was hiding for quite a while:

"Dear [gudrun], I love my sweet [redacted nickname] so much! Thanks for getting us married because I love being with you and sharing your life. Maybe we can splurge on a way fabulous meal soon (a rain check for tonight's Wendy's). Hope your headache is better.
Kiss the [redacted nickname], xxxx [Mr. gudrun]."
posted by gudrun at 9:25 PM on January 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

Apparently I ate some plums I had been saving for breakfast.
posted by zamboni at 9:25 PM on January 28, 2023 [6 favorites]

In one coat I found a torn up Post-it note with "Home Owners due 2-28-9"? in a handwriting I did not recognize. Must have been from a previous occupant of the coat. Also a 1966 Lincoln penny. In my other coat (not second hand) I found a wad of tissues (typical) and 2 almost completely faded thermal register receipts, one from a grocery store and one from PepBoys. Could not discern what was purchased. I suspect I bought cases of Diet Coke from the grocery store because I only went there when they had a good sale on DC. PepBoys, I think it may have bought seat covers because that's the only thing I remember ever buying there.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:24 PM on January 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

infini, I like your list's avocado doubt.
posted by paduasoy at 4:40 AM on January 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

What, what is a Rig-a-ma-roll? This seems to be ungoogleable, I just get definitions for "rigamarole" and stuff about snare drums.

I assumed "rig-a-ma-roll" was an alternate spelling of rigamarole.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:23 AM on January 29, 2023

Mostly what I find in my pockets are time capsules of notes about my kid, repeatedly uncovered and reburied. Notes from daycare, e.g., like “today I was sunny | sleepy | (circled) cranky” and “today I pooped twice.” Oh, also a problem set from grad school about copepods. Nine years have passed and in that time I have not managed to learn what a copepod is.

What would 2018 me have said to 2023 me? I don’t know; 2018 was a pretty good year so there might not have been much to comment on. Actually, 2018 was probably the last pretty good year.

I’m so used to thinking backwards, like, what would 2023 me tell 2018 me? But it’s so hard to get into the beginner’s mindset about my own life. What would 2023 me tell 2028 me, is maybe more like it. I hope you managed to put that patio in? I hope you’ve been able to take a real vacation again? But then I think of the threads from 2018 that were left undone and it’s like, sorry to disappoint, Past Me, but some stuff came up. I think the biggest gift I can give to Future Me right now is enough trust to admit that I’ve got no clue what’s in store for her and to allow her handle it as she sees fit, knowing what she knows at the time.
posted by eirias at 5:53 AM on January 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

In my case, it's usually a phone number and I have no idea whose. I had to go empty my jacket pockets last night; I'd taken the dog with me and shoved treats in the pocket; she has wrecked to pocket of another jacket to get to treats. She has a play date this morning; she loves playing with other dogs, and I will enjoy getting to know the dog's Mom a little better.

Past me would write a note reminding present me that getting tired of winter in the end of January is far too soon. It has been unusually warm and snow-free, then 3 snow storms last week. The weatherfolk say we'll have some very cold weather and some warm weather in the next 2 weeks. I just want to be able to walk without danger. I fell on ice the other evening and wrenched my knee.

I am wearing a boiled wool sweater-coat. I reached in the pocket. Tea bag, decaf.
posted by theora55 at 5:53 AM on January 29, 2023 [3 favorites]

The only unexpected thing I've got in my coat pocket is the crinkly bit that tears off the top of a 50 pound bag of poultry feed when you open it.

I mean, it's not that unexpected, we do have poultry, it's not like urban and rural versions of me have swapped timelines.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:08 AM on January 29, 2023 [4 favorites]

Also omg Metafilter never change, I love the obstinate literalmindedness with which we're talking about the actual literal stuff in our actual literal coat pockets rather than dreaming up poetic messages from our past selves.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:09 AM on January 29, 2023 [3 favorites]

infini, I like your list's avocado doubt.

A decent sized single one can cost 1.50 euros

and a bag of 5-6 small ones (800gms) can cost between 3.50 to 5.00 euros depending however the supermarket prices their veg

the avocado purchase is always the 'premium' and a gamble on the quality of the fruit when you cut it open

otoh, these days tomatoes are 6 euros/kilo
posted by infini at 7:18 AM on January 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

I usually find coins from random countries that I've visited over the years. And then I leave them there, because I love that tiny jolt of weirdness I get from an unexpected tug at my memory.
posted by dhruva at 8:05 AM on January 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

If you're reading this, you've been in a coma for almost 20 years, because of a car accident. We're trying a new technique. We don't know where this message will end up in your dream, but we hope we're getting through. Please wake up. Wake up. WAKE UP!
posted by Splunge at 9:25 AM on January 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

The jacket pocket probably has cat hair in it, because the cat hair is everywhere.

Today, the fearful cat has sat in the same room as me for a little while, and he does lie on my bed. I figure I can't be all that terrifying if he's willing to sleep someplace that smells like me.
posted by shiny blue object at 9:26 AM on January 29, 2023 [4 favorites]

January 2018 me had a terrible boss and went skiing with lovely friends and was planning a job search and possible relocation. Brexit and Cambridge Analytica ... couldn't have got worse, could it?

I think the note from past me says what current me says now: "You've again bigger dragons already, this isn't beyond you. If you need to pause a moment, listen for the grand chorus of family and friends who love you, all cheering you on."
posted by k3ninho at 2:13 PM on January 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

Teakettle person, way up the thread, I bought the cheapest electric, I could find which was the white Sunbeam, for ~16$. It worked well this morning. Did I mention, I bought it in 2007? That baby is fully depreciated, it heats all kinds of water, turns it's self off, with a resounding click. Just so you don't get seduced by the marketers of the big, shiny, mid century modern, whiz bang deluxe, water heating appliance.
posted by Oyéah at 8:56 PM on January 29, 2023 [6 favorites]

I mean, yeah, having different specific water temperatures a button-push away is lovely and all, but - like the buttons on a microwave oven - most of those are unnecessary in real life.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:11 PM on January 29, 2023

Metafilter: all kinds of water
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:11 PM on January 29, 2023

like the buttons on a microwave oven

Full disclosure - I do use the 8 button on mine...because it disables the goddamn beep!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:13 PM on January 29, 2023

Wendy’s Congenial Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.). I think this was from 2009.
posted by bendy at 12:16 AM on January 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

Remember a couple of weeks ago when you burst into tears on the plane back from Spain to Boston ... because there was nothing in your United States life you wanted to go back to?

Five years from now, you will be LIVING in Spain, you won't be working that hated tech job anymore, and your life will be immeasurably better in ways that you can't understand right now. But you will.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 9:34 AM on January 30, 2023 [2 favorites]

January 2018, I was about a month into sobriety from my process addiction. There's a note I *wish* I'd written to myself but didn't, about dangers and vigilance and the hubris of self-reliance.

In related news, I have a new one-week chip.
posted by hanov3r at 9:56 AM on January 30, 2023 [5 favorites]

There's a non-zero chance such a note would be a handwritten list of MeFi usernames scribbled onto a Post-It, with what I liked about each of you.

These days, I'm marginally better about being able to actually say hey to MeFites I admire around here, but there are still at least a dozen of you who are among my favorite humans on the planet and probably have no idea I quote the great things you say to people in the real world and recount the cool stories you tell here.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:03 AM on January 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

The shopping list I once wrote down which consisted entirely of:

posted by The Card Cheat at 1:12 PM on January 31, 2023 [2 favorites]


Burma Shave
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:37 PM on January 31, 2023 [2 favorites]

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